Hoop Dreams

136p. (Podium Sports Academy). Lorimer. Sept. 2014. Tr $9.95. ISBN 9781459405875.
Gr 8 Up—Allie McLean, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a senior basketball player at the Podium Sports Academy in Calgary, Canada. Captain of the team, she already has a full scholarship to Duke University. Her parents are divorced, and Allie is increasingly frustrated that her mother spends so much time with a revolving door of boyfriends rather than taking care of her two younger siblings or attending Parent's Weekend at Podium. As a result, the teen immerses herself into school, her new boyfriend Jonathon, and basketball, the one activity in which she feels she has the most control. When her basketball coach asks if she is interested in coaching at a sports camp, she eagerly accepts and anticipates a summer that will not involve her family or going home. Soon, those plans begin to unravel. Allie has a fight with her boyfriend, on whom some of her plans depend, and she experiences a serious knee injury that threatens her basketball career. The protagonist learns an important lesson about who she can really count on during bad times. Schultz Nicholson is a former athlete with an excellent knowledge of basketball and other sports, and that is reflected in the details of on the court play-by-play that she provides. This hi-lo book features a couple of mature situations, but they are subtle and blend in with the story line. The evenly paced plot and familiar high school situations will resonate with readers, especially teen athletes.—Anne Jung-Mathews, Plymouth State University, NH

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